10 years ago I found myself on a bridge in Warsaw looking down at the river. I knew I was me but I couldn’t remember where I was or how I got there. I didn’t know what time, day, month or year it was. Fishermen were below me on the river bank. I felt an impulse to jump from the bridge, I imagined myself as a raindrop that transformed into a small fish when it hit the water, a goldfish freed by a child. The fishermen would catch me, be disappointed by my size but take me home anyways, I’d become the pet of a child again. I forgot those thoughts and began them again, in the exact same order. Jump, raindrop, fish, freed, caught, pet in a new home. Then again and again. Someone who had been driving home in the evening saw me in the same place the next morning as they drove to work. They must’ve thought I was suicidal and called the police. The last memory I could recall was of making a collage a year earlier. A grainy black and white photograph of a human eye with words I’d cut out of a biology textbook that read “goldfish swimming”. It is a popular myth that goldfish only have a memory span of 3 seconds. They can actually remember up to 5 months into the past. Apparently I had been trying to explain this to the police when they approached and detained me. Sometimes when you think you’ve forgotten something you really haven’t. Eventually I was diagnosed with something the doctors called Transient Global Amnesia.
– Aleksander Hardashnakov